Revisiting the Issues on Netflow Sample and Export Performance
Source: University of Cambridge
The high volume of packets and packet rates of traffic on some router links makes it exceedingly difficult for routers to examine every packet in order to keep detailed statistics about the traffic which is traversing the router. Sampling is commonly applied on routers in order to limit the load incurred by the collection of information that the router has to undertake when evaluating flow information for monitoring purposes. The sampling process in nearly all cases is a deterministic process of choosing 1 in every N packets on a per-interface basis, and then forming the flow statistics based on the collected sampled statistics. Even though this sampling may not be significant for some statistics, such as packet rate, others can be severely distorted.